Grading

The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond Is Back

GradingApr 22, 2019

The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond Is Back

Now, the stone weighs 9.3 carats and is internally flawless.

The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond has been re-cut to upgrade its clarity from VVS2 to internally flawless.

New York—The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond failed to sell at auction in 2016, but now it’s found a new life.

The actress’ father purchased the cushion-modified brilliant-cut fancy deep blue diamond, weighing 9.54 carats with VVS2 clarity, in 1940 to commemorate the 12-year-old’s latest film, “The Blue Bird.”

She owned the ring until her death in 2014. Her family put the diamond up for sale at Sotheby’s April 2016 jewelry auction in New York, where it was predicted to garner between $25 and $35 million, though it didn’t find a buyer.

That’s when Windsor Jewelers stepped in.

The antiques dealer bought the stone from Temple’s family but decided to make an improvement before putting it back on the market.

“We showed it to some of the best cutters in the world and said there’s a potentiality for it to go internally flawless,” explained Windsor Jewelers President Paul Lubetsky.

Cutting the stone, and slightly lowering the carat weight in the process, was not a decision taken lightly.

“Polishing such an important diamond involves an immense amount of challenges and risk,” Windsor Jewelers’ Principal Avi Fattal said. “The stone was thoroughly studied by the cutter and a team of gemologists for weeks before deciding to put this very rare diamond on the wheel.  

“The color of a blue diamond, and in some cases, quality, can be drastically changed even with the slightest movement. We ultimately decided to go ahead and re-polish the stone to try to improve the clarity.”

What Fattal described as many “nerve-wracking months” of polishing that involved several visits and consultations with the Gemological Institute of America resulted in not only an internally flawless stone—now weighing 9.3 carats—but also a richer blue color.

SEE: The 9.3-Carat, Internally Flawless Shirley Temple Blue Diamond


“When we finally decided to re-cut it, it completely opened the color also,” Lubetsky said. “We didn’t expect it to go so blue. Before it was a VVS stone, but when we got rid of the imperfection the color opened up and became bluer than any other stone I’ve seen before.”

In GIA’s current report on the stone, it notes a similarity in color to the famed Hope Diamond and the Wittelsbach-Graff—another blue diamond that was re-cut to improve it clarity—leading Windsor Jewelers to believe that all three diamonds might have been mined in a similar area, the Golconda mines of India.

“All three

of these stones have a phosphorescent reaction to ultraviolet light,” Fattal said. “The others have a red phosphorescence and the Shirley Temple has a blue phosphorescence.”

Now, Windsor Jewelers is set to display the stone publicly for the first time since its acquisition and polishing at the second edition of the upcoming GemGeneve trade show, an exhibitor-run antidote to Baselworld.

There, attendees will be able to witness the new-and-improved Shirley Temple in person.

“Daylight sort of stimulates the stone and the more it’s in daylight, the bluer it gets,” Lubetsky said. “It continues to get bluer all day. It’s really an unusual phenomenon.”

GemGenève is slated for May 9-12 at The Palexpo Geneva.

 

Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

The Latest

CrimeApr 19, 2021
JSA Issues Refresher on What To Do During a Robbery

The reminder follows a frightening incident at a store in California.

SurveysApr 19, 2021
New Nielsen Study Shows Consumer Optimism Toward Jewelry

The survey showed Americans are becoming more optimistic about their financial futures and view precious jewelry as an important category.

Lab-GrownApr 19, 2021
Lab-Grown Diamond Co. Green Rocks Hires Brand Manager

Ahna Shmuel returns to the company to head brand management as well as oversee the jewelry division.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

WatchesApr 19, 2021
Watchfinder & Co. Names New CEO

Former Rakuten executive Arjen van de Vall will take the reins at the pre-owned watch retailer.

Weekly QuizApr 16, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of April 12-16, 2021.
Take the Quiz
AuctionsApr 16, 2021
Try On This Diamond and Pearl Tiara Before It Heads to Auction

Sotheby’s created an Instagram filter for the crown, estimated to sell for up to $1.5 million.

SurveysApr 16, 2021
March Retail Sales Surge

Another round of stimulus checks helped to bolster last month’s retail sales.

Brought to you by
4 Reasons You Need This Program for Mother’s Day

Learn how to increase customer loyalty and revenue by making JM™ Care Plan a cornerstone of your business plan.

CollectionsApr 16, 2021
Supplier Kim International Revives its Catalog

It showcases 2021 and 2022 styles, with most ready to ship from Dallas, Texas.

×